ONE-time NBA All-Star Danny Granger is careful not to mess up with the Indiana’s chemistry especially after the Pacers pushed defending champion Miami Heat to a seven-game series in the Eastern Conference Finals last season without him.
So once the league’s 2013-2014 season kicks off, Granger said he’ll try to slowly ease his way to the team’s lineup in the hope of getting back in the scheme of things.
“I’ll just get myself into rhythm because when you sit out a year, it takes a while to get back in rhythm and get your legs back,” Granger told a handful of media men following the Pacers‘ Tuesday morning practice at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Pacers are slated to clash with Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets in the first-ever preseason NBA game in Manila dubbed the NBA Global Games on Thursday.
The 6-foot-8 Granger was hampered by a left knee injury (patellar tendinitis) that limited him to just five games last season.
The 30-year-old Granger managed to play his first preseason game in almost a year on Saturday, finishing with six points on 2-of-10 field goal shooting in 29 minutes during a close 76-82 decision to the visiting Chicago Bulls.
With a talented young core composed of swingman Paul George, slotman Roy Hibbert, Lance Stephenson, and the veteran presence of playmaker George Hill, David West, and free agent acquisition of Luis Scola, Granger is confident the Pacers can be the new “beast in the East.”
“I think we have what it takes this year (to be in the NBA Finals). Honestly, it’s the experience. This will be my ninth year. Paul gained a year in experience and David has the most experience, while Roy takes another step,” noted the sweet-shooting former star of University of New Mexico.
“When you have experience and talent, that’s a two-headed monster. I think adding another one year is a big help for us.”